As hip city parents, we’re always on the lookout for the coolest activities for our trendsetting tots. Leave it to the cool cats over at Downtown Dance Factory to bust out the breakdancing, ensuring all the little B-boys and B-girls of Tribeca can do the worm, robot and can backspin like pros.
We all know how great an activity dance class can be. They’re active, constructive, social, challenging, and of course, great fun. B-Boy lessons have all of these great qualities, but they also add the amazing “crowd goes wild” moments. The excitement your kid will feel after successfully busting his first “top rock” to “six step” and hearing the cheers from the cypher can make for such a wonderful, memorable, priceless moment.
The “Kindiboys” lessons are offered for preschoolers, ages 3-5 and are taught by one of the studio’s resident B-Boys. The 45-minute classes introduce hip-hop and B-Boy moves, simple freezes and funky footwork. The Dance Factory also offers classes for older kids from kindergartners progressing all the way to teenagers.
Check out the B-Boy classes at the Downtown Dance Factory. And, when looking for the dopest B-Boy gear, saying we have you covered at Babesta is an understatement!
Tristin & Tyler give us their best style snippets when hitting the streets in NYC.
If you don’t know Tristin & Tyler, it’s time to take notice. These twins about town are busy in the city, hosting events, writing their blog and interviewing celebs – and whatever they do they are guaranteed to do it in style. Each Thursday they’re checking in with us with a style tip making for a very fashionable fall!
Downtown Express: To be subway and street ready in New York City, rock graffiti inspired gear and camo
From The Production Line of Happiness, by Christopher Williams at the MOMA.
We all got happy because Pharrell told us to. Now, we get happy once again as the MOMA presents The Production Line of Happiness, a new retrospective of work by artist Christopher Williams. Using various techniques, including photography and Super 8 video, Williams examines the capitalist society and the role of imagery in conspicuous consumption. The title of the retrospective gives a nod to Jean-Luc Godard, a filmmaker who famously aligned his hobby editing film featuring the bucolic Swiss countryside to his experience as a factory worker.
Try to resist these happy tees and tops at Babesta! Go ahead, Smile!
We love that the Metropolitan Museum of Art hosts an annual exhibit of New York City kids’ artwork! Right there alongside of centuries of the world’s greatest artwork hangs the world’s newest contenders from prekindergarten to 12th grade. The juried exhibition resulted in 77 artworks including paintings, prints, sculptures, photos, mixed media, collages, drawings and video. Up until October 20, it’s something to visit with your kids to inspire them at anything is possible, even a grand opening at the Met!
The Babesta Crew decided to check out the new Ninja Turtles movie to see how this generation’s version stacked up against the original that we watched as youngsters. For the most part, the major movie reviews gave the film some lousy ratings. However, the Babesta Crew begs to differ, slightly. Yes, in the grand scheme of things, the movie does have some flaws, and surely won’t be considered for best picture at the Academy Awards. But we focused on watching from the perspective of a kid, not a snooty film critic. And all-in-all, we thought the movie was pretty good, and will make for a cool outing for the little ones this month. So if looking for something cool for the kids this weekend, strap the little ones up in the dopest strollers and take them to the movies!
Let’s start with the good things! The CGI’d version of Splinter and the Turtles were definitely a huge upgrade compared to the lame “football mascot” costumed ninjas from our generation’s movie. This allowed for way more awesome fight and action scenes with spectacular martial arts exhibitions. The comparison is similar to the super lame light saber fights in the first generation of Star Wars films compared to the breathtaking ones in their new generation of movies.
The film also did a great job with the character personalities. The original Ninja Turtles that we knew were cool and funny dudes, and they were successful in keeping this intact. In fact they possibly improved on it. The turtles and the rest of the characters definitely seemed like the same “people” we remember, and maybe even a little better.
Also, the film was set in New York City. Ahh New York City, a film can never be that terrible when set in this wonderful place as you can get by just looking at all the awesome sights. And TMNT really did a great job in taking advantage of all the great scenes that the City has to offer. And lastly, the film was highly wholesome, innocent, and good natured. We don’t recall any edgy questionable content that wasn’t appropriate for children. We definitely didn’t notice any of those uncomfortable awkward movie theater moments between kids and adults.
When we get into the movie’s flaws, the huge elephant in the room was the story. It was a pretty common and uncreative journey. It was definitely your cookie cutter action movie set of events. And, they also went a little too far with their stretches of imagination. We already entered the movie expecting this, and came in with a pretty high tolerance. But even with that, some of the coincidences went way too far, to the point of eye-rolling ridiculousness.
Additionally, we felt that too much of the movie was dedicated to explaining the story. We have to cut them a break on this point however. After all, It does require a lot of time to explain how a giant Rat and four 6-foot Ninja Turtles became walking about in Manhattan. But, this did make us leave the movie hungry for more scenes that conveyed the Turtles personality, goofing around and stuff, like we remembered from our day. Fortunately, there should be plenty of room for that in the sequel!
So in Conclusion, we gave the movie a passing grade overall. The story was pretty lame and uncreative. But it provided a great visual spectacle, and the characters were awesome and likeable. We definitely wouldn’t recommend this movie for adults. But for children, it has most of the things that they look for. Oh yeah, and I’m sure the Turtles would definitely feel Babesta’s awesome fly styles! (turtle sizes not available)
The Babesta Fresh Crew is always on the on the prowl for the latest fun and active things to do in New York City. We’ve come through with a cool outing to put you up on,,,,, wait for it,,,,, the graffiti street art scavenger hunt with Watson Adventures teamed up with Saddleshoe Tours. Burn some calories, bond with your teammates, and educate yourself, all while learning the roots of the coolest art genre in the scene! The street art scavenger hunt is a great way to take a street art tour in NYC.
Graffiti street art is definitely emerging into the mainstream, filling art galleries and museums with artists like Banksy and Shepard Fairey earning world-wide acclaim. Earn some street cred at your next art show and be the first on your block to study the true roots of street art, in the New York City streets, the Mecca of graffiti, where it all began.
Watson Tours “brings out the best in a fascinating place—and the best in you and your teammates”. The hunts use witty, tricky questions in fast-paced games. According to Watson’s, the “hunts are like walking tours spiked with caffeine”. With Watson Adventure scavenger hunts, you don’t actually hunt for tangible items, instead you work to answer amusing questions about the fascinating places and items you discover.
Scavenger hunts have also been noted as a great activity for building team comradery and bonding. Major corporations have set up company scavenger hunts with Watson Adventures for this exact reason. Amazon.com’s founder and CEO, Jeff Bezos dropped a qoute on their site, “I loved your witty questions and racing through the museum. I can’t think of a better way to bring people together and have fun”. Although the street art scavenger hunt is for adults only, there are plenty more the company offers for the kids to enjoy.
One of the biggest problems in the city is how to get a toddler around in a cab or car service safely and easily. Enter, UberFamily to solve the problem. We had first heard about this revelation while it was in development from Dr. Alisa Baer, “The Car Seat Lady” who collaborated with Uber on the service. Now a couple months in, it’s addressing a true, underserved need in the market, much to city parents’ delight. She trained and certified the highest rated UberX partner drivers on how to safely secure the car seat so you know its properly installed in the car.
Uber now offers an on-demand car seat option for a $10 surcharge (additional to the UberX rates). That’s a small price to pay for a lot of peace of mind.
We were thrilled to be invited to a studio visit at Rebeca Raney’s this weekend. Her work is prominently displayed and for sale at Babesta – from her signature llamas to the subtle and naive black and white illustrations of sweet girls, some looking like familiar Raggedy Ann type dolls. The RISD graduate has made quite a splash on the art scene, already collaborating with Madewell for a line of product and cultivating over a million followers on Pinterest as Raneytown.
Some of the most exciting things we got to see at the studio were her hand embroidered sculptures. Her embroidery is stunning and, having an adorable little girl herself, she invited kids & adults to touch all of her soft sculptural works. For sure, art is meant to be experienced.
She also showed a lovely alphabet book, something she did back at school many years ago, with an illustration standing for each letter. With K for kissing and W for whisper and ephemeral illustrations of ghosts and zephyrs, it’s a lovely compilation of her works in black and white, some with color. Many had stood the test of time, shy of one she said she’d never do again. “The owl,” she notes, adding that the market had overdone the wise forest creature.
View more art at Babesta or visit Raney’s installation at Babesta Cribz, 56 Warren Street, NYC 646 290 5508. Inquire about available works.
Get out your instruments New York, it’s Fete de la Musique! Tomorrow, June 21, New Yorkers, Parisians and music lovers in many other cities will be celebrating the annual event, started in France in 1982 by the French Ministry for Culture. Today, the summer holiday takes place in over 100 countries. There will be free concerts in Central Park, part of the Summer Stage, including M and Emilie Simon. Admission is first come first served ad free!
Don’t know M & Emilie Simon? Check out their music here!
Last weekend we hit this amazing large scale art installation by Kara Walker, best known for her silhouette art, and had to share. It smells as sweet as sugar and is as impressive as it is a moving commentary on race. You do have to sign a release to go in and the queue can be a bit long (but moves fast and there are italian ices to keep things cool) — but you will certainly be taken by the message behind the art, the scale, as well as bold shapes and confections used that interact with the environment, melting and morphing daily until July 6 when it closes.
After that the well positioned Sugar Factory is said to be demolished to make way for condos.
Check out the video here: http://creativetime.org/projects/karawalker/